NCAA Championships Blog - Tiffany Hyland

April 18, 2009

NCAA Championship Central

UCLABruins.com will provide exclusive access to the UCLA Gymnastics team as it competes this week at the NCAA Championships in Lincoln, NE. This is the fourth student-athlete blog from the Championships, written by freshman Tiffany Hyland after the Individual Event finals.

Hey fellow Bruins,

Sitting in the stands last night was an undoubtedly tough experience filled with an assortment of mixed emotions. Despite the heartache, our team gained so much motivation from the experience, eager to be in the Super Six next year! We kept our spirits up, reminding ourselves that we have had seven months of great memories that outweigh this one day. As Bruins, we know that we are not defined by the results of a competition, but rather the manner in which we handle the results. Miss Val always tells us that it is our character that defines us, not the outcome. We took this to heart, moved on and began looking forward to our next challenge: tonight's competition.

We had three amazing competitors make it into event finals. Ari, our rock-solid senior, was last to go on bars. Despite having all the spectators focused on her, she ended her season on a high note, sticking her final collegiate routine. Zam, our outgoing, laugh-out-loud funny freshman started off her competition on vault, hitting an amazing Yurchenko full and a huge layout that soared out of camera range. Her floor was filled with lots of smiles as she went up on her tip-toes to stay in bounds (What a fighter!). She finished her season with a great beam routine and a perfect dismount! Britt, our redshirt sophomore with the heart of a lion, took the floor as the Bruin family sat, almost tearing up in the stands. Despite her countless surgeries, Britt stood at the edge of the floor amongst the best competitors in the nation. Her courage showed through her aggressive and almost flawless tumbling, as well as her amazing dance. Each of our competitors overcame the stress from the last couple days and proved that Bruins are as tough as they come. Each of our girls walked away with at least one NCAA trophy! To end the meet, Ari and Zam gave the whole audience a show when they had their very own dance-off in the middle of the floor!

Looking back on the season, I realize how many amazing memories we have gathered along the way. We have a great group of girls who came together under the same premises - the love of gymnastics, the joy of sport, the support of the fans, but most of all, the love of being a Bruin. Through it all, we have made memories that will last a lifetime! As for next year, we have already started planning our season. Watch out nation, the Bruins are coming in full force!

Lots of love,
Tiff

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